Spurs star insists club are ‘more tactical’ under Mourinho than Pochettino’s reign

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Ben Davies has explained the key tactical differences between how Tottenham Hotspur were set up under Mauricio Pochettino and how they currently play under Jose Mourinho.

Although Spurs played some swashbuckling attacking football on occasions under Pochettino, they never quite managed to get over the final hurdle and win major trophies despite coming close on occasion.

Since replacing Pochettino at the helm in November, Mourinho has sought to put his own imprint on the side but has not been helped by injury problems and the stop-start nature of the season.

Despite the mixed results since the restart, there are clear signs that Spurs are becoming better suited to defending deep and hitting sides on the counter-attack.

Davies, who has become an important cog in the Tottenham defence, insisted that the team now has a different game plan for every match, as opposed to under Pochettino when they played the same way irrespective of who they were up against.

Speaking to talkSPORT, the left-back said: “Under Poch, we very much had our style of play and it was just the high press, high intensity.

“Now I think we’re a bit more tactical, we’re a bit more aware of what we’re coming up against. We have a game plan for each game.”

The Welshman also revealed that the players had completely bought into Jose’s methods and insisted that next season will be a different story.

Davies added: “In some games, it hasn’t been what we’ve wanted but everyone’s buying into the skillset that Mourinho has and we all know that he’s a top, top manager.

“He’s won everything there is to win so us as players have got to put our trust into him and the results will follow.

“We know it [results this season] hasn’t been what we want, it has been stop-start but we can’t use that as an excuse.

“We’ve got to be better than that away from home and we know that.

“We’ll go away in the summer and I’m sure we’ll do a lot of work in pre-season, get ready for it and next year has to be a different story.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Those who think that we are unlikely to hit the heights that we did under Pochettino playing the counter-attacking football that Jose wants to play are certainly jumping to conclusions too early. We have to remember that under Pochettino, both Leicester and Chelsea beat us to the Premier League title, despite the fact that we were better than each of them. Both the Foxes and the Blues did so by playing a counter-attacking brand of football under Claudio Ranieri and Antonio Conte respectively. So, it is certainly not inconceivable that we can get back the level we were at previously while playing with a low block rather than a high press. However, given the benchmark Man City and Liverpool have now set, it has become much much harder to compete for the title than it was two or three years ago.

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